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January 08, 1988 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-01-08

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, January 8, 1988- Page 9

Records

Meat Puppets
Huevos
SST Records
Huevos, Meat Puppets' fourth
release in two years, makes it ever
more apparent that this twangy
threesome has been circling the same
old sun-baked stomping ground they
became a little too comfortable with
three records ago. Their innovative
desert images and crafty playing
seem to have hit a dry spell as of
late, leaving us with an LP that is in
no way bad, but still doesn't live up
to what the Pups have to offer.
Sounding more and more like ZZ
Top than ever, Meat Puppets have
continued their trend away from
super-eccentricity and have produced
more, uh, conventional tunes (well,
as conventional as you can be while
writing about "emerald feathered
goblins"). Guitarist Curt Kirkwood
and bassist/brother Cris bounce off
each other like lazy rubberbands;
they shoot with decent aim but don't
have enough snap. Even their
trademark lyrics have gotten more
straightforward, although they're
still preoccupied with the landscape,
food, and sex.
The best moments of Huevos are
when Meat Puppets evade all logic
,and just babble - and this LP has a
fair share of ethereal, carhartic songs
about that elusive "it" the Pups like
to chase through the shifting sands.
Trouble is, there's also a little too
much guitar noodling that doesn't
get off the ground, and too many
misdirected punches. Here and there
the riffs stand out, as on "Look at
the Rain," but Huevos really suffers
from that "all these songs start to
sound the same" syndrome.
Huevos just lacks the eclectic
sparkle of Meat Puppets' earlier
work. If you want a better showcase
for their hefty talents, go see 'em
live any day.
- Beth Fertig
Culture
Two Sevens Clash
Shanachie Records
Shanachie records has just re-
issued Culture's 1977 classic, Two
Sevens Clash. The album is a
magnificent piece of reggae history
as it chronicles the rise of Rastafari
in the late '70s. It is also considered
one of the greatest reggae albums
r ever; a masterpiece that became a,
,paradigm for reggae and African
music worldwide.
To understand the significance of
this historic work, Jamaican history
must first be understood. In 1977,

The Jesters of
In a Nostalgic Mood
Metal Blade Records.

Destiny

The Jesters of Destiny are one of
LA's New Metal bands, which
generally combine metal and punk
with a touch of black humor and
provide metal fans with something
far more refreshing than the typical
master-mixed Def Leppard single.
In a Nostalgic Mood, the second
EP by the Jesters, consists of, as its
title might suggest, five covers of
rock "classics:" "Fortunate Son,"
"Foxey Lady," Bobby Troup's "The
Girl Can't Help It," the Elastik
Band's "Spazz," and Black Sabbath's
"Electric Funeral." All except the
last of these songs sound nothing
like and nowhere near as good as the
originals.
From the cover art and some
changed lyrics it is apparent that the
Jesters play their songs with tongue
firmly in cheek, yet their slow,
ponderous sound is so irritating that
the satire never has a chance to
become amusing. They sound much
like early Black Sabbath, which
allowstheir cover 'of "Electric
Funeral" to sound similar to the

original. The guitar isn't as grating,
though, nor can singer Ray Violet
snarl the tune's inane lyrics as well
as Ozzy Osbourne could. All of this
may or may not be a plus for the
EP, depending on one's point of
view.
The other four songs are twisted
so far by the band that what were
originally good party tunes are
changed almost to songs of despair.
It is difficult to imagine why anyone
would want to listen to a "Fortunate
Son" that with no extra lyrics or
guitar work, is twice as long as
CCR's original. It is also difficult to
imagine what possessed the Jesters
to satirize this song - or "The Girl
Can't Help It," which sounds as if
she can't help it because she's
narcoleptic.
The slow sound and unfunny
rewrites of these tunes make In a
Nostalgic Mood completely un-
appealing. The Jesters would be well
advised to stick to their own brand of
music and leave covers to more
astute artists such as Mitch Ryder or
Manfred Mann.
--Ian Campbell

Phoenix, Arizona's Meat Puppets have been circling the same sun baked stomping ground for a little too
long. Pictured from left to right are band members Curt Kirkwood, Cris Kirkwood, and Derrick Bostrom.

Kingston was a ticking time bomb
as African immigrants flooded the
poorer districts in search o f
salvation. What they found was
horrifying; squalid living conditions,i
starvation, violence, and shattered
dreams. But unlike other gasping
Third World countries, an air of
unity was swirling through the
desecrated city of Kingston. The
apocalyptic spiritual and cultural
movement called Rastafarianism
began to draw more and more strife-
torn Blacks into its peaceful
protests.
And from this wreckage came the
velvety vocals of one Joseph Hill.
Hill organized Culture by joining
forces with Albert Walker and Kenny
Dayes. The group was led by Hill,
who sang lead vocals over 'the
gliding harmonies of Walker and
Dayes.
Their first release was Tw o
Sevens Clash, the title based on a
vision by Joseph Hill that predicted
1977 as a year of judgement -
when two sevens clash and past
injustices would be avenged. The
album contains powerful lyrics, and'
producer Joe Gibbs utilized such
astounding talents as Sly Dunbar and
Robbie Shakespeare, who were at
the time revolutionizing the art of
rhythm with their own group,
fittingly called the Revolutionaries.
Culture's first hit from the
album, "See Dem A Come," is a
defiant reggae-rocker featuring Hill's

vengeful vocals spread lightly over a
chorus of zealous testifying.
Majestic harmonies skank lightly
over Sly and Robbie's sledgehammer
rhythm on the rapturous "Get Ready
to Ride the Lion to Zion." On "I'm
Alone in the Wilderness," Joseph
Hill rides a euphoric ganja high into
the torrid world of despair, providing
a metaphoric anthem for scores of
oppressed Blacks worldwide. And
finally, "Black Starliner Must
Come" is a shimmering whirlwind
of Rastafarian dreams as well as a
stinging denunciation of the myopic
vision of racism.

This is the first time Two Sevens
Clash has been made available in
the U.S. Hill's prophetic lyrics
relate crucial historical events to
present suffering and mold the tunes
into formidable revolutionary
statements. Similarly, Culture's
timeless musical arrangements make
Two Sevens Clash a must for
reggae fans as well as a perfect
introduction into the beautiful
musical composition of the genre.
This LP stands as a monumental
landmark in the history of reggae and
Rastafarianism.
-Todd Spanker

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Invites You To An Organizational
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Sunday, January 10 8:00 p.m.
Henderson Room, Michigan League
Call761-7855 for information
THE OFFICE OF MAJOR EVENTS PRESENTS
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Please call 764-6874
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